Eight Key Ideas
Ritsumeikan Primary School is committed to students learning English as a tool for communication. In Grades 1 and 2 students have English lessons twice a week, and from Grade 3 three times a week. We have a team of Japanese (specialists in teaching English) and native speakers of English (NSE). As part of Ritsumeikan’s dedication toward raising global citizens, the NSE are full-time teachers who are involved in school’s daily life; this provides students a chance to interact outside of English lessons as well.
With our English curriculum and some cross-cultural education we have the goal of developing “functional bilinguals.” The children acquire their English knowledge in a fairly natural way, without translation or complicated grammar explanations. Exposure to phonics from Grade 1 helps with awareness of the sounds of the English language and later with reading. While building vocabulary, students also learn many useful questions, replies, and expressions.
We offer rich reading input through storytime, shared reading, and independent reading. Our school library has over 4000 books in English. Listening skills increase in part due to our team teaching styles and our efforts to conduct English lessons in English. Students also listen to their classmates in various activities, and from early on we encourage memo taking skills. We teach some basic writing, and for spoken output we provide an array of tasks including self-introductions and presentation projects.